Zion National Park
Near Springdale, Utah
Activity: Day Hike, river hiking
Date: July 26, 2019
Zion National Park is a special place. I have hiked and backpacked there multiple times and each time filled with wonder and amazement. It is a different type of beauty from other National Parks and that in itself makes it so special. The tan, orange, and brown Navajo sandstone massive rock cliffs, peaks, formations, and canyon are simply a marvel.
A Summer time treat is to hike the famous Narrows. When the weather is hot, the Virgin River, which cuts through the narrow canyon, is most inviting. I did this hike with my friend Jackie and her daughter Elena. The trick is to arrive early to beat the crowd and although we left the Vegas area well before dawn that was still not early enough for this popular Summer time hike.
There is almost always a chance of flash floods with the Summer Monsoon Season, in fact we had delayed our trip one day because of 40% chance of thunderstorms. This day’s forecast was only a slight chance early on, but when we arrived they were again forecasting 40% chance of thunderstorms and possible flash flooding. The problem is even if the area you are in looks okay, a storm miles away can still affect where you are hiking sending a torrent of water and debris rushing through the canyon. Four years ago it took the lives of seven canyoneers. So the warnings are not to be taken lightly.
To get to the Narrows you need to board the bus at the Vistor’s Center and once aboard enjoy a scenic drive through the canyon and exit the last stop, the Temple of Sinawava. From there you take a delightful short hike, which is extraordinary with views of the canyon walls, greenery, and the river you will not find anywhere else. Then you enter the water. You need to have sturdy shoes or boots with ankle support would be best as you will be walking through still to rushing water any where from your ankles to your waist, or even swimming. The rocks can be slippery so if you have trekking poles or a hiking stick bring them. They will come in handy. You can rent these type items just outside the park.
On this hot Summer day there were plenty of folks starting this adventure with us, in fact it looked like a Disneyland ride. But the good news is the farther you go the more the throng of humanity thins out, add some threatening clouds, rain and some claps of thunder and you will practically have the place to yourself.
The weather started out Blue Bird perfect, but when we were the furtherest into the slot canyon is when it started thundering and the rain started falling. So on the side of caution we started heading back, well… after track star Elena and I ran up one very narrow finger of a canyon to see what we could see, just as some people were heading in the opposite direction as fast as they could saying you probably don’t want to go that way. One funny thing, Jackie was concerned about the chance of flash flooding early on, but when we were actually under that threat she and Elena were the ones still stopping and posing for selfies, lol!
As we headed back it wasn’t too long before the storm passed and we were back to nice weather and now we had the Narrows relatively to ourselves.
Fantastic hike one of the most popular in the country and for good reason.
Fine line between Foolishness and Bravery. Mark Twain felt better to look back on his life and regret the things that he had done rather than those he had not done.
Thanks for joining me and my friends Pursuing Balance Through Adventure at this very special place and this unique venture into Zion and the Narrows. Please won’t you LIKE, COMMENT, FOLLOW and SHARE? After all this is my job.
Pursuing Balance Through Adventure